This is from last year (with a little polishing up), but it’s worth repeating.
While I do believe that some traditions should be put to rest, I also believe that a lot of tradition-bashers are poor-impulse-control cases. Having abandones any actual tradition or culture of their own, they fill the void with a couple of Utne Reader platitudes, a mild revulsion for anything even vaguely Judeo-Christian, even if it aligns with their beliefs, a pro-pot slant and a half-formed belief in eye-for-eye karmic payback.
Standing for almost nothing, they tend to fall for just about anything.
Chris Baldwin’s summed it up pretty handily — and perhaps unintentionally — in a Bruno comic from last year:
To borrow the line about Klansmen and Martin Luther King Day: C’mon, Bruno, how hardcore a secularist must you be to not want a day off?
Of course, those of us who celebrate Christmas would argue the exact opposite: here we took a beautiful Christian holdiay and destroyed it through corportization and “We’re white, we’re straight, we’re sorry!” guilt.
(There’s a Randroid who would take another tack and say “here we took a beautiful commerical holiday and destroyed it in usual religious fashion.” Haven’t we developed some kind of Ayn Rand repellent yet?)
In the end, I believe that intent counts.
I’m certain there is no malice, no implicit “convert or die” message and no forcing of one’s beliefs on others when someone wishes someone else a Happy Chanukah, Eid, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Tet or even Festivus, the actions of certain vicious zealots notwithstanding. Balanced minds do not see any implied Hitler overtones at Oktoberfest nor Hirohito/Tojo insinuations at the sushi house, and neither do they see the Crusades in Christmas.
When people say “Merry Christmas”, most of them are really saying “Happy Holidays, and I’m celebrating them Christmas-style. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine. Come by for drinks.”
That what I’m really saying, anyways.
No matter what you believe, enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. Be nice to each other. Hug someone you love.
Merry Christmas, everyone.